Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas from Down Under!

Hi there all. So we have this whole week off of baseball, so I decided to go to the beach! Any other option sounded silly. Before I headed out to the beach I was able to go to a cricket match!! It was a good time! It's an interesting game, somewhat similar to baseball, but with a lot less complicated rules.  

 After the cricket match a group of four of us (Alexis Brudnicki, Alex Maestri, Whitey Wallace, and I) headed down to another teammates house (Steven Chambers). He lives about a hour away from Brisbane towards the beach we were going to, and right on the river!   

We did a little bbq-ing, jet skiing, and laying at his pool. (I'm getting pretty tan again.) Over here in Australia, Christmas is pretty much a reason to party. Everyone that I have talked to about it, is always saying how it's a good week to have heaps (a lot) of drinks, and since I didn't want to be rude or insult their culture, I decided to partake!
This is his backyard.
The Gold Coast, a view from where his house is.

Whitey Wallace, Steven Chambers, Alexis Brudnicki

That next morning we were headed down to Byron Bay, however the car we were driving seemed to have a dead battery. (I left a blinker on, oops) The car we had was all electronic, so the key wouldn't even open the door. Since we couldn't open the door, it's pretty hard to pop the bonnet (hood). So I had to use a long metal rod to stick in through a partially open window. Somehow got the back seat to lay down, find a latch in the boot (trunk), pulled it and the trunk opened. Whitey then crawled through the trunk, the little opening in the back seat, to the front seat, and popped the hood. 10 minutes later we were on to Byron Bay! I figured it would be an interesting trip when it started out like that already!!

Whitey climbing in.
Byron Bay was unbelievable!! It was gorgeous, nice white sand, no trash, and some really blue water!! The first day we were down there we decided to try our hands, or feet at surfing. It was pretty fun but painful at the same time. I can say that I got up on my 5th try! But I only lasted maybe 3 seconds before I was falling in headfirst. It's a very challenging sport that wears you out fricking quick! Half the battle is figuring out how to swim out through all the waves so you can TRY to surf.
here are some pics of Byron Bay: 

The easternmost point in Australia.
Steven Chambers-Australia, Alexis Brudnicki-Canada, Whitey Wallace-America,
Alex Maestri-Italy, Me-?, Dan Mraz-Check Republic

All of us out in Byron Bay.
Getting a ride back to the hotel.
 We booked the hotel for 2 people, and I guess when 7 of us get back at 4:00 am…the manager didn't seem to like it too much. So inevitably, 5 of us were forced to sleep elsewhere that night.
I chose the beach. 
Now I always thought sleeping on the beach would be great…however, it does tend to get a little chilly, and if there is any wind, then the sand gets blown on your face all night. It was really too great… Plus, the sun seems to be very bright come morning.   The nice long shower in the morning was the best moment of that day!   Because no matter how careful you are, sand seems to find it's way in and around everywhere.

Merry Christmas everyone! Tomorrow is Christmas day for me. Not quite yet for you in the states.

I better get to bed now, because I have to wake up and have beers and prawns for Christmas breakfast!  

Irony: The famous Australian line: "Let's put another shrimp on the barbie!"  
They call shrimp, prawns. 

Miss you all, hope you have a great Christmas!! 
Soon you'll find out how an Aussie Christmas is.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

1 Australian dollar = 1.00300 U.S. dollars

Hi all, so now that I've been over here for a couple weeks there is something that I want to tell you that I don't care for too much for at all...  It's the cost to stay alive.  Everything is really expensive over here. 
For example; I found a "wannabe" Chipolte, called Guzman y Gomez.

This was my order:  Yeah, $16 big ones for a basic burrito and a tea. Ugh.

Also a beer over here that is comparable to your Budweiser, runs about $9.00 for a pint. Around double what it costs over there in the states, so enjoy!!!

One thing I find very interesting over here is their currency. It's all different colors and much more vibrant and exciting than our plain paper money back in the states. I was in a grocery store today and was $5.00 short, so I was looking thru my wallet, and the cashier said, "don't have a pink one mate?" (I didn't, but I had 3 coins the size of pennies that equal $5.00.)

Here are some pics of the money. It looks like monopoly money, but it definitely doesn't spend like it! It's made out of polymer. A stretchy, paper looking material that doesn't rip easily at all. Also each bill has a see thru spot in the bottom right corner. (Way cooler than our green paper bills in America.)

It's all about the Melbas over here!


Sometimes I forget that I'm over here to play ball. I get wrapped up in experiencing the new culture, and exploring new things. Don't worry though, I'm still working my ass off to get to the big leagues!

Here is the only photo I have so far of me throwing.

I hope all is going well over there.  Let me know please!!


Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Good afternoon!  Or, good middle-of-the-night to you all back in the States.

Now before I get into this post, this is what was waiting for me when I returned from this last road trip.

An Australian cockroach. 
I named him, Cockroach.  Then I brutally killed him and hung his body on display for all his other friends to see.

Below is a video that my roommate Ben Macey made a while ago with a few of his mates.  (He's the tall one with the monks outfit on, and with the long hair that's put into pigtails.)  It's a pretty interesting video, and might make you laugh, or be worried.  Either way, I think I'll enjoy staying with him for a little while, he's a pretty laid back guy.  Plus you get to see where I'm staying without some lame tour video.

Now click on the next word -> VIDEO.  And when your done watching, click the back button on your internet browser.  :)

Moving on...

Ben thought it was imperative that i learned how to play cricket.  So we went over to the nets. (batting cages)

Ben bowling to his friend while I played wicket keeper.
I tried hitting, but it freaked me out that he threw the ball at me...
They call this football...But it's not. 

Ben jamming out after our cricket session.

Laundry time.  I put up the clothes lines and I am pretty proud of them.

I tried to put a funny video on here, but it was trying to upload for 30 I'll have to figure something out.

 We have our first home series this weekend.  So I will update you on what the field looked like before as a cricket oval, and after, as a baseball field.  Not sure if were going to play though, because it's been raining for over 30 hours straight now, no joke...and it's not looking like it's going to slow up. 

Hope all is well.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Well we just got back from my first road trip, and it was a fun one. We lost 4 games and won 1, so that wasn't the best, but I had a good time otherwise. It's pretty cool to play with the guys over here, because they have been playing together since they were in grade school (primary school) so they are like a family, and really play the game to win. It's a lot different than playing pro ball in the states, where everyone is out for themselves. This atmosphere here is more like college ball, where your one goal is to win a championship, so it's different, but good!

Example; On Saturday, we lost a game, so I picked up my glove and started walking from the bullpen to the clubhouse, I got showered, grabbed some food and left, it was just another day at work… then I waited alone by the vans for almost an hour...  I found out that after we lost the game, all the Australians sat there and reflected on the game. On what they could have done to win, and were hanging out talking with each other like a family. They were honestly hurt that the team didn't win, and they weren't in any hurry to leave the ballpark.  So I kinda felt bad for not being around after the game. But then again, i found it funny that they took it so seriously. That's when I realized that this game is more than just a job to these guys, they have the passion that I had a long time ago. 

They love the game, and I play it to try and achieve a dream, and a paycheck…

Here are some pics of my trip to Sydney:

Brisbane Bandits getting ready to take off at the airport

The field


Long, scary tunnel to get to downtown Sydney

Sydney has a nice field, like some minor league parks back home

California is that way....somewhere

Chambers, Maestri, and I at the Opera House

Famous Bridge that I don't know the name of. :)

Colorado Yacht

Sydney's Landmarks

We had a rainout.

Whats wrong with this picture??

It was a fun road trip. Got to know some of the guys, and had a reality check on why I play this game called baseball.

We are back in Brisbane for a few weeks now, so I will get to fill you in on my life here!

I miss you all!!

Monday, 5 December 2011

So I got a chance to get out down to the CBD (central business district) in Brisbane and it is a pretty cool area.  Also, they have amazing public transportation here.  You just purchase a card, scan it when you get on and off any bus, train, or ferry and they keep your tab.  It's cheap too. (The only cheap thing here.)  They also have a tunnel system only for the buses that just zips you around about anywhere you would need to go.
Here are a few of the things I saw in the CBD:

I'm glad they have Christmas in Australia.

My first roo.

I guess most places DO trade services or products for money.

When I was messing around at the iPhone store, I think I hurt my eyes.

Quite the outdoor scene, and they also had an AMAZING farmers market too! (So good I was too pre-occupied to take a pic.)

Not a typical person that you see in the states.

That's my house on the left, and yes, that's an aquarium next to my place.

 This is my neighbor.

The inside is a bit better than what the outside looks!

I'm off to Sydney tomorrow, and you will enjoy it ALMOST as much as I do!

Love ya!